Voices Prince William and Kate, Duchess of Cambridge, emerge from St Mary's with their newborn son

Compared to the grind of US politics, our Royal family offers a burst of romance

Bronze age: How the sun tan became a standard summer accessory

The sun tan. Fake or natural, it has always caused a stir. Once a sign of poverty and vulgarity it is now the preserve of the rich and famous.

Falstaff, Glyndebourne Festival, Sussex<br/>The Abduction from the Seraglio, Grand Theatre, Leeds

Verdi's comic opera is set in a post-war Britain where food is plentiful and love can conquer the scheming of a fat knight

Palace investigating security breach

Buckingham Palace said today it was investigating a report that undercover journalists were able to enter the Queen's London residence and sit in her car after bribing a royal chauffeur.



Lady Butler of Saffron Walden: Second wife of Rab Butler, 'the best Prime Minister we never had'

Mollie Butler was the second wife of the highly distinguished "wet" Tory politician of the 1950s and early 1960s, Richard Austin Butler, known to all as "Rab". Mollie was, understandably, his staunchest supporter and never forgave Harold Macmillan for allowing Alec Douglas-Home, instead of her "beloved Rab", to succeed him in 1963 as Prime Minister and leader of the Conservative party. Lady Longford was to describe him, somewhat gushingly, as "the best Prime Minister we never had".

In the frame for a sale: spare-time snappers focus on the cyber galleries

Got a good eye for a picture? Alessia Horwich on the sites where you can showcase your work

Campaigners lose fight against fire station cuts

Campaigners acting with the backing of celebrities and the tacit support of the Royal family today lost a High Court battle over the partial closure of Windsor Fire Station.

Holy smoke! Can grey be glam?

Why the ashen hue is the hot trend of 2009

&#163;32m needed to repair Britain's royal palaces

Auditor's office warns of increasing damage to national assets

Palace worker denies being BNP member

A worker in the Queen's household whose name appears on a list of British National Party members has denied being involved in the far-right party, Buckingham Palace said today.

Wall stories: The funny and often beautiful world of graffiti

There's a vast conversation going on, and it's happening right now in a street near you. Some of it is funny, some of it is strangely beautiful, some of it is downright disturbing. Paul Vallely has seen the writing on the wall

The Traveller's Guide To: English castles

England's rich array of castles offer visitors a superb opportunity to see the country's history up close and personal. Harriet O'Brien takes a journey into the past

Paperbacks: Sport, by Tim Harris

It is intriguing to speculate if the 2012 Olympics will repeat the innovation introduced in the London games of 1908 when the marathon was extended to 26 miles 385 yards so the Royal family could watch the start from the Windsor Castle nursery windows. Even those indifferent to the lure of sport will find surprising diversion in Harris's prodigious exploration of sporting quirks and oddities.

Drowne buoyant again after wave of Ascot success

Only racing would castigate a man as too reliable; only racing, equally, would redeem him in such capricious fashion. Steve Drowne went to Royal Ascot last week still smarting after being replaced on Clowance in the Oaks, less than a fortnight previously. And the horse most likely to restore his morale and standing, Sakhee's Secret, proceeded to finish 17th of 17 in the last Group One of the week, the Golden Jubilee Stakes on Saturday. In the meantime, however, Drowne had ridden three winners, a feat surpassed only by Johnny Murtagh. They started at 100-1, 28-1 and 12-1 respectively; only one of Murtagh's winners, in contrast, was bigger than 7-4.

Brown ready to rain on Bush parade with Iraq troop pull-out

Gordon Brown is ready to override the misgivings of George Bush by going ahead with a major announcement on British troop withdrawals from Iraq. The US President will sit down to talks with Mr Brown today after their dinner at Downing Street last night sparked anti-Bush protests in Parliament Square.

Best readies Kingsgate Native for sprint crown

The flying wizards from Oz will once again be at Royal Ascot, with Takeover Target, winner of the King's Stand Stakes two years ago, leading the raid on Tuesday's opening-day sprint feature. The globetrotting nine-year-old gelding showed himself as good as ever in Singapore last month with a narrow defeat of compatriot Magnus, who will again oppose next week.

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Pompeii, Capri & the Bay of Naples
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Lake Garda
Minoan Crete and Santorini
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Abuse - and the hell that came afterwards

Abuse - and the hell that follows

James Rhodes on the extraordinary legal battle to publish his memoir
Why we need a 'tranquility map' of England, according to campaigners

It's oh so quiet!

The case for a 'tranquility map' of England
'Timeless fashion': It may be a paradox, but the industry loves it

'Timeless fashion'

It may be a paradox, but the industry loves it
If the West needs a bridge to the 'moderates' inside Isis, maybe we could have done with Osama bin Laden staying alive after all

Could have done with Osama bin Laden staying alive?

Robert Fisk on the Fountainheads of World Evil in 2011 - and 2015
New exhibition celebrates the evolution of swimwear

Evolution of swimwear

From bathing dresses in the twenties to modern bikinis
Sun, sex and an anthropological study: One British academic's summer of hell in Magaluf

Sun, sex and an anthropological study

One academic’s summer of hell in Magaluf
From Shakespeare to Rising Damp... to Vicious

Frances de la Tour's 50-year triumph

'Rising Damp' brought De la Tour such recognition that she could be forgiven if she'd never been able to move on. But at 70, she continues to flourish - and to beguile
'That Whitsun, I was late getting away...'

Ian McMillan on the Whitsun Weddings

This weekend is Whitsun, and while the festival may no longer resonate, Larkin's best-loved poem, lives on - along with the train journey at the heart of it
Kathryn Williams explores the works and influences of Sylvia Plath in a new light

Songs from the bell jar

Kathryn Williams explores the works and influences of Sylvia Plath
How one man's day in high heels showed him that Cannes must change its 'no flats' policy

One man's day in high heels

...showed him that Cannes must change its 'flats' policy
Is a quiet crusade to reform executive pay bearing fruit?

Is a quiet crusade to reform executive pay bearing fruit?

Dominic Rossi of Fidelity says his pressure on business to control rewards is working. But why aren’t other fund managers helping?
The King David Hotel gives precious work to Palestinians - unless peace talks are on

King David Hotel: Palestinians not included

The King David is special to Jerusalem. Nick Kochan checked in and discovered it has some special arrangements, too
More people moving from Australia to New Zealand than in the other direction for first time in 24 years

End of the Aussie brain drain

More people moving from Australia to New Zealand than in the other direction for first time in 24 years
Meditation is touted as a cure for mental instability but can it actually be bad for you?

Can meditation be bad for you?

Researching a mass murder, Dr Miguel Farias discovered that, far from bringing inner peace, meditation can leave devotees in pieces
Eurovision 2015: Australians will be cheering on their first-ever entrant this Saturday

Australia's first-ever Eurovision entrant

Australia, a nation of kitsch-worshippers, has always loved the Eurovision Song Contest. Maggie Alderson says it'll fit in fine